(Closed) rehearsal dinner advice needed!

posted 10 years ago in Parties
Post # 3
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee

You do not have to provide a meal/hospitality for Out of Town guests the night before the wedding.

 Some people do, and it is a very nice gesture, but it is not required. It is very common/acceptable/appropriate for the Rehearsal Dinner to include only those who attend the rehearsal (ie. Bridal party & parents) as well as their dates/spouses.

You’re right – it would certainly be rude for your parents to pay for their guests at the Rehearsal Dinner. It would imply that your IL’s are not doing "enough" even though it is very appropriate to have an intimate Rehearsal Dinner.

Your parents/relatives do not need to host a separate dinner. If your cousin wants to organize some sort of Get Together, that’s fine – but you & your parents don’t need to organize it.

I’d tell your parents to relax – you and your IL’s want an intimate dinner. Maybe suggest Out of Town gift bags that include local restaurant suggestions?

Post # 4
Member
236 posts
Helper bee

emilie01 is correct; you are not obligated to feed out of town guests.

However, it polite to greet your OOTs the night of the rehersal dinner.  You could have a cocktail hour (or 1 1/2) (at a different location from the RD) where you provide some appetizers and you can mingle with your guests for an hour or so.  Then they can all get together, maybe stay for a while later or for dinner themselves.  I would just pick a restaurant that has a nice sized bar or an additional room where you can do this.  You can do a  cash bar or just wine and beer (no need for hangovers the day of the wedding) for the hour you are there and provide them with the number for the restaurant and some other close places to make reservations to stay for dinner.  Another place to hold this would be in a room at the hotel where either you or the guests are staying or where the wedding itself is.

If you rehersal isn’t to early then you can do this beforehand and go on to the rehersal to keep some sepperation between the events.  This will be less expensive and still provide guests with face time.

Post # 5
Member
1458 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

I third that – you’re not obligated to feed them. If it were maybe 10 people then I can understand asking for them to attened but the majority of a 300+ guest list is a bit much.

Leave them lists and ideas of neat places in the area to visit and eat at to help them find something fun to do that night, this way they won’t feel like they have nothing to do. You’re guests are all adults, I’m sure they can fend for themself.

I never go to out of town weddings expecting to be invited to a Rehearsal Dinner – family or not I’m not a part of the wedding party. And I don’t think that at an Out of Town wedding I’ve actually been asked to attened a Rehearsal Dinner. 

It will all work out.  

Post # 6
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

We are having a destination wedding and are not inviting all the Out of Town guests to the rehearsal dinner because it would be another wedding….I am going to suggest things for them to do on Friday night if they choose…

Post # 8
Member
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2008

Rehearsal Dinner should only be for the bridal party/spouses and maybe thier kids. It’s your  guys moment to thank the people individually for being apart of your wedding. Sometimes it’s the time you and your Fiance hand out lil gifts to the bridal party. It would be a little awkward to do that in front of guest that shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Post # 9
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Well, the thing is that your parents are not the hosts of the rehearsal dinner, so they can’t really dictate to your FI’s parents how to host it.  That would be rude, and your FI’s parents are hosting it in a perfectly appropriate manner. 

The idea of a separate event for out of town guests is cool and I think it could work.  But your parents should not leave the Rehearsal Dinner early to host this separate event – they should have someone else host it who will not be attending the Rehearsal Dinner (your cousin is a great idea if she won’t be attending your RD).  Your parents could head over to the separate event as soon as the Rehearsal Dinner is finished though, they just shouldn’t duck out early. 

I think ultimately, your parents just need to make peace with the fact that the Rehearsal Dinner is not their event to host, and they need to respect the traditions of your FI’s family with regard to rehearsal dinners and let them do it their way.  Your parents get to host the wedding the next day.

Post # 11
Member
2292 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2008

For my sister’s wedding we did invite the out of towners to the Rehearsal Dinner – but that pumped the guest list up from a dozen to two dozen.  And my sister and her husband paid for and hosted the Rehearsal Dinner themselves, so it was their decision.  The idea of the Rehearsal Dinner, either way, is as a more intimate event than the wedding reception, so if your have a lot of out of town guests another event for them would be best. 

We will probably invite some of our out of towners.  Really nobody who is family, even though they drive far enough that they may spend either the night before or after the wedding – because they will all coordinate with each other and so we feel can take care of themselves.  We do have a few random guests, some of whom will be attending as singles, who will travel cross country.  So rather than leave them dining alone, we will invite them.  However we have a really small bridal party.  Even with our travelling guests, I think our Rehearsal Dinner guest list will be around 20.  And we are paying/hosting ourselves.

Smartl and others are right – since your Future In-Laws are hosting, its up to them.  You could request to include a few extra folks, but not dozens.  And offering to pay for something that effectively hijacks their event doesn’t make it better.  If you can’t convince your folks they don’t have to hold what sounds like a before-the-wedding-reception (and they don’t) then I think they need to turn over their hosting duties to an aunt and uncle or a couple of cousins, and plan it around the Rehearsal Dinner.

Post # 12
Member
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

First thing – great name! =)  haha, sorry I took the original username.

I can see how this is a big issue.  In my case, my FI’s parents are taking care of the rehearsal dinner, but they are including all relatives from both sides, and the bridal party + their spouses and significant others. 

Since a lot of the suggestions so far are that your parents don’t really need to host one, but they really want to…  is it possible to move your rehearsal dinner to Thursday night?  Not the ideal situation, but maybe your bridal party is in town already?  or maybe they will be traveling in on Thursday afternoon?  That way, your FI’s parents can host the rehearsal dinner on Thursday, and your parents can host a dinner for the guests that they want to treat on Friday.  and everyone’s happy?

Good luck!!

Post # 14
Member
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2008

Actually Emilie’s suggestion is a fantastic one.  RD’s two or three days before the wedding are becoming increasingly common!

I was also just going to say, if your dad is the one who wants to leave early, you could structure the Rehearsal Dinner events in such a way that it would be awkward for him to leave i.e. ask him to do a toast towards the end of the Rehearsal Dinner or something, or tell him it would just break your heart if he left before you’d had a chance to give him his gift as you were going to present all the parents with a gift at the end of the evening.  I know that’s a little bit of a guilt trip, but he’s not being fair so maybe you could get him to stay that way without causing a fight.

Post # 15
Member
85 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

Hey Emilie01 – too bad the Thursday idea won’t work for you!  I totally get the honor/respect family thing.  I’m Chinese too, so my FI’s parents definitely wanted to include all relatives in the Rehearsal Dinner, especially since we have relatives coming in from overseas.

Your first idea of having your parents pay for extra guests at the rehearsal dinner.  You said that you and your Fiance thought his parents would be insulted by it.  Maybe it might be worth a shot just to ask what they think about it?  Who knows, they may think – the more the merrier.  The guests don’t have to know who’s paying for the dinner, right?  If only your Fiance is the one that wanted the smaller intimate dinner, maybe you could ask him to consider having a bigger dinner to accommodate his future in-laws?  or find some other time (friday lunch?) to get together with just the bridal party.

I’m really pulling for you, because I know that if my parents really wanted to treat relatives, or host something, I would feel terrible if they didn’t have the opportunity.  Good luck!!

Post # 16
Member
139 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2008

What we are doing is having a smaller rehearsal dinner with bridal party/guests, immediate family only (which was supposed to be hosted by FI’s family but that’s another matter), and afterwards, my parents are hosting a wine and dessert reception for the out-of-towners. That way we get to see our extended family and friends who came in but also get to have the smaller rehearsal dinner. No one will have to leave the Rehearsal Dinner early, we’ll just pop open a few bottles of wine and set out some cookies/cream puffs/whatever.

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